|Position:|| Creative Director (2010 to present)
Lead Game Designer (2008–2009)
|Education:|| Bachelor's in Computer Science
Master's in Entertainment Technology
Neil Druckmann is a video game designer who has worked at Naughty Dog since 2004. He was a co-writer and designer for Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and both a co-writer and co-lead game designer for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. He was then assigned as writer and creative director for the game The Last of Us, on which he first started working in early 2010. On June 2nd, in an interview with Eurogamer, it was announced that both Druckmann and Bruce Straley would direct Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, released in May 2016. It was also revealed in December of 2016 that Druckmann will return to direct The Last of Us Part II, a sequel to The Last of Us.
Before entering the video games industry, Druckmann was majoring in criminology. It was while attempting a course in programming that he realized "people make games", thus inspiring him to find a job based in game design. Deciding to switch majors, he then enrolled for the Entertainment Technology masters in Carnegie Mellon University and sought an internship at video game development studio Naughty Dog by "harassing" co-president Jason Rubin, who "made the mistake" of giving him his number. He eventually succeeded and was brought on as a stint programmer on Jak 3 in early 2004, one year into his Carnegie Mellon's masters program.
Afterwards, Druckmann went on to continue programming work on Jak X: Combat Racing before eventually landing a position in design for Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. This was Druckmann's initial aim, but studio veteran Evan Wells (now co-president of the studio) had restrained from placing him in design originally because he was "hired to do programming" so had to do programming work as a part of his job capacity; after intermittently working after-hours over the course of the next year on design projects (once completed with his programming duties) and frequenting them to Wells for review, however, Wells finally concluded that he was "an excellent designer as well" and brought him on to the design team for Uncharted for the first time, for which he also did additional writing.
Following the success of Drake's Fortune in 2007, Druckmann was then cast as co-lead game designer of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves alongside Richard Lemarchand, in addition to also serving as co-writer alongside co-workers Josh Scherr and creative director Amy Hennig. He was also one of three designers (the others being Amy Hennig and Bruce Straley) who conjured the idea of the now heralded Where Am I? chapter, which featured main protagonist Nathan Drake exploring a peaceful Tibetan village after losing consciousness due to exsanguination in a snowstorm days before. Months later, in October of 2009, Among Thieves was released to critical acclaim.
As Straley will not return to assist with directing the sequel to The Last of Us, reportedly "taking a year out" after the pair finished working on the DLC for Uncharted: A Thief's End, Druckmann announced on Twitter (December 3, 2016) that he will be co-writing the script with Westworld writer Halley Gross.
- Neil stated on a 2013 AMA with a smiley face that Jak X: Combat Racing was the best game he worked on.
- ↑ Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - Uncharted Wiki, Wikia Inc.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Neil Druckmann- IMDb
- ↑ The Last of Us - IMDb.
- ↑ http://blog.us.playstation.com/2016/12/03/the-last-of-us-part-ii/
- ↑ Meet Naughty Dog's Renaissance Man - Edge Magazine
- ↑ Staying Human in the Inhuman World of The Last of Us - Gamespot
- ↑ The Co-Presidents of Naughty Dog - Youtube
- ↑ Top Ten: Uncharted Moments - The Digital Fix
- ↑ Uncharted 2: Among Thieves review - Eurogamer
- ↑ Indiecade 2011: Richard Lemarchand - Beauty and Risk: Why I Love Indie Games - Youtube
- ↑ GameSport - Straley is not coming back
- ↑ GameSpot - New writer
- ↑ Hi, we're Neil Druckmann (Creative Director) and Bruce Straley (Game Director) of The Last of Us at Naughty Dog. AUA! - Reddit